Eat Fish, Choose Wisely

Fishing Regulations Icon Washington Fishing

Advice from Department of Health

Fish is good for you and part of a healthy diet. Understanding the health benefits of fish along with concerns over contamination such as mercury can be confusing. The key is to make smart choices. Choose fish that are low in mercury and other contaminants. Our advice is, “Eat fish, be smart, choose wisely!”

Tips to Reduce Contaminants

  • Remove skin, organs, and fat before cooking
  • Eat a variety of fish
  • Eat younger and smaller fish (within legal limits)

Current Advisories

Chart below is partial list of advisories.

Although fish is a healthy part of our diet, there are 49 advisories in Washington State because of contaminants. We recommend you eat at least two fish meals per week and choose wisely. Eat a variety of fish that are low in contaminants. The chart below is not a complete list of all advisories in Washington. Most advisories in our state include fish that are good to eat, including 24 healthy fish choices!


Fish Species


All waterbodies Northern Pikeminnow Women of childbearing age and children should not eat
Columbia River – Middle – Bradford Island (Bonneville Dam to Fort Raines) Bass, Bluegill, Carp, Catfish, Crappie, Sucker, Sturgeon, Walleye, Yellow Perch Everyone should not eat
Lower Columbia River (former Vanalco Plant) Clams Everyone should not eat
Duwamish River (Lower) All resident fish, shellfish and crab Everyone should not eat
Lake Whatcom Smallmouth Bass Women of childbearing age and children should not eat
Lake Washington Carp, Northern Pikeminnow Everyone should not eat
Olympic National Park (Lake Ozette) Largemouth Bass, Northern Pikeminnow Everyone should not eat
Spokane River (Idaho Border to Upriver Dam) All species Everyone should not eat
Wenatchee River (Icicle Creek to Columbia River) Mountain Whitefish Everyone should not eat